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Old 12-07-2007, 04:09 PM   First Class Member KKWiki Contributer Senior Registered Member #36
hasselbrad
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Sugar Hill, GA... finally! Civilization!
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Our healthcare system is too good for its own good, and that's why it's so expensive. By that, I mean our current healthcare system places more and more burden on itself as the medical community does a better job caring for and prolonging the lives of those who a couple of decades ago would have been condemned to death. Premature infants place a tremendous financial burden on our healthcare system. Infants that a decade ago would have simply been termed miscarriages are now considered medically viable. Elderly patients live longer due to improved healthcare procedures and drugs.
The sophistication of medical equipment has spiralled upward in the last twenty or so years due to technological breakthroughs, but then, so too has cost. Billions of dollars are poured into research and development by corporations in this country to create drugs, tests and machines that allow doctors to perform miracles on a regular basis, and somewhere, these costs have to be offset.
Who's to blame?
It's easy to say "George W. Bush", but it's a hell of a lot more complicated than that. It's also easy to point at any number of other healthcare entities; hospitals, doctors, insurance companies. While it's true that these are all part of the problem, one cannot overlook the culpability of personal injury lawyers in driving up the costs for the aforementioned through frivolous lawsuits. You think health insurance is expensive? Take a look at malpractice insurance. Doctors are held to an almost unreasonable standard. Anything short of perfection and miracles are grounds for a lawsuit. Trauma units are being shut down in some areas due to lawsuits involving accident victims who were basically dead on arrival, and failed to respond to treatment.
Of course, the dirty little secret that most people like to avoid is the fact that a lot of people don't have health coverage because it isn't a priority. 42,000,000 people in the United States don't have health coverage. However, there are 195,000,000 cellphones in use in the United States, meaning roughly two thirds of the population is paying for cellphone service. Furthermore, in December of 2006 alone, $3,700,000,000 (yes...that many zeros) was spent on videogame hardware and software. We spend an awful lot on things that would have been considered luxuries a generation ago to have what is termed a "crisis" on our hands.
Just a thought...
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